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1  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Please help with this tricky return problem on: February 13, 2009 05:14:50 PM
OK, I make these custom rings and have been selling them pretty happily. Most of the time everything goes fine, but recently I got an order for a certain size ring and made it and shipped and the person has received it and said she made a mistake in the size (she made it sound like she knew all along she was ordering the wrong size and should have listened to the person she was buying it for) and can she just send it back and get a new one in the right size. She offered to pay for new shipping.

Now, me being kind of stupid I didn't have a return policy posted on etsy at the time she ordered. I do now, for sure. But I didn't then. However! I make these rings from start to finish and it is quite a bit of my time, not to mention the silver. I only charge 20 dollars for them. Also, since it's a custom order there's nothing I can really do with the returned ring except recycle the silver.
Now, since I didn't have any return policy posted at the time I think I'm going to let her return the ring and make her a new one, even though this really sticks in my craw.
I want to let her know that I'm doing her a favor since she messed up in the first place and let her know about my new policy, but is this passive aggressive? Should I just make the darn ring and let it go to keep a happy customer?
Please give me all your advise. Thanks!
2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / I heart these so much! on: January 23, 2009 09:18:31 PM
These are really small, about an inch or so long and the hearts are only about 4mm across. I was going for cute and simple.

3  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Peace Fleece Socks--super warm! on: January 28, 2008 11:52:32 AM
These are the warmest, squishiest socks ever.
They're made with one skein of Peace Fleece in the color Lena's Meadow. It's very pretty--has flecks of purple here and there. This yarn isn't soft--it's fine for socks and maybe hats or mittens, but I don't think I could handle this next to a sensitive area.
I really like it though, and if I lived further north I'd make several more pairs of these. They're like little toaster ovens.
This is also my first successful pair of toe-up socks. I made them both at the same time on a 40 inch circ, and even though I enjoy working with dpns, I think having both socks done at the same time is the way to go.
I got the idea to do reverse stockinette on the bottom from "Sensational Knitted Socks", (she calls it the princess sole and it really does make a difference with these heavy weight socks. I have some other worsted weight socks and wish I'd  done it for them--well worth the pain of purling) and the cable twist pattern also came from that book as well as the "easy toe" cast on method, which is really easy. The heel turn I got from "Knitting Without Tears". And, the pics:

4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Barbara G. Walker Cardigan of a million years on: January 28, 2008 08:47:40 AM
This took me forever! And then it took me forever to get a picture of it because I wear it constantly and I wanted it to be clean and fresh when I took the pic.
I made this using the instructions from Barbara G. Walker's "Knitting from the Top Down".
It's a top down sweater with set-in sleeves, a miracle in my opinion.
It's made with KnitPicks Andean Silk yarn, about 10 or 11 skeins (I forgot how many I started with since that yarn was meant for something else a long time ago).
It's really warm and pretty soft, and washes pretty well, but pills and sheds something horrible!  I need to get one of those sweater stones.
Anyway, I like it a lot, but don't love it. I had a lot of issues with sizing since this was my first try at a sweater like this and I didn't trust my instincts or my math.
It's a little too drop-shouldered and long in the pits. And the ribbed waist band was a complete spur of the moment decision, thinking it would nip in my waist, when really it just makes me look dumpy.
Whatever! Here's some pics, taken by my friend at work.

This one shows the sleeve "seam" which is really increases since it was made all in one piece.

This one shows the front a little better.
The lace insert is a pattern from one of the BGW treasuries. I forget which one I had from the library, but I modified it a little. Originally it had eyelets in the center of each diamond, but I just omitted them.

Here it is on the needles before I picked up for the sleeves.

Here it is worked all the way to the waist when I realized it was big enough for two of me. Yes, there were tears. I had to rip it back almost to the point in the above pic.

All in all this cardigan took about 4 audiobooks, an entire season of the O.C. and countless VH1 reality shows and episodes of House.
Thanks for looking and reading!

5  KNITTING / Knitalongs / Barbara G. Walker-a-long? on: August 29, 2007 07:10:53 AM
Would anyone be interested in a Barbara G. Walker knit-a-long?
Barbara G. Walker has a lot of knitting books out there, and in general kicks quite a bit of ass!

I've been making some sleeveless (and a short sleeve) sweater from the guidelines in her book Knitting from the Top, which you can view here:

If you've seen this book and been scared away by the really outdated picture on the front, don't be! There's lots of valuable information inside, and no more ugly pics!
You can make so many things from the top down, even sweaters with set-in sleeves! And no sewing!
I've just requested a few of her "Treasury" books from the library, so if you want to knit something from one of those pattern books please join in as well!
I thought this would be fun and a good place to ask questions, because her instructions can be a little daunting. I think it's just because she has so much confidence in people's abilities that she just assumes we know more than we do.
There were a few people in the original thread who expressed interest, so I hope to see you all!
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Simple yet magical vests and a mini sweater (so many images!) on: August 20, 2007 11:30:27 AM
I got the book Knitting From The Top by Barbara G. Walker last summer and worked up enough nerve to try something from it just last month.
Here is a month of knitting for y'all. These are all made with Simply Soft, due to the experimental nature of them and also me going through a moment of poordom.

This book is brilliant, but I have to admit I thought Barbara Walker was batshit crazy when I first read her instructions. Then, when I just did what she said it all worked out! I'm in love with this method of knitting. The magic of these vests is that they are made from the top down with no seaming.
This one is really simple, made with exactly one skein.
I wasn't sure while I was knitting if I wanted a round neck or a V neck, so I didn't really commit to either and ended up with a U neck of sorts. The only finishing I did was two rounds of single crochet around the neck and armholes.
I actually love this mini vest and have worn it a few times despite the Texas heat.

Next I got a little braver and tried a keyhole neckline.
It took just a little bit more than one skein. I'm not in love with this one, mainly because it's not a color I usually wear, and the keyhole is a little racy for me, but it fits really well. I tried it on several times while knitting it. I wore it to work and a fellow crafter mentioned how well it fit and since I'm paranoid I thought she might have been secretly calling me a ho. It fits, yo.

The only finishing I had to do on this one was one round of single crochet around the neck opening. I love the seed stitch but it was something like 8 rows to the inch so I had to switch to k1p1 to avoid boredom insanity and just get the thing done.

Finally, and I do thank you for reading all this because I'm so proud of all this knitting after a very depressed and uncreative year so far,
I present my mini sweater, which was inspired by a pattern I saw in a Blue Sky Alpaca yarn ad.  This is made using the same guidelines as the vests, you just extend the cast on row and do more short rows.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased, as these were really just meant to be experiments but I ended up with 3 wearable garments that cost about $15. I'm definitely not done exploring the possibilities of the top-down vest. I feel brave enough now to use some nicer yarn I have in my stash and try set-in sleeves. In the book there are two methods, one where you make the vest then pick up stitches and use short row shaping, the other where you make the sleeves as you go, sort of like the yoke of a raglan. I'd love some company if anyone else feels like knitting along!

I started a thread for a knit-a-long, so please join!

7  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / 68 yards of bulky weight enough? on: November 12, 2006 06:10:37 PM
I wanted to knit my son's teacher a neckwarmer for xmas, just a cute simple short rectangle--I'm not sure if I'm going to do a keyhole closure or add a button.
Would one skein of Knit Picks panache at 68 yards (supposedly bulky but their Sierra isn't all that bulky to me, so maybe more like heavy worsted?) would be enough or should I buy two? I'm trying to be thrifty.
8  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / M&P Versus Cold Process on: November 06, 2006 07:26:25 PM
Hi there! I hope this is all right to ask. I won't be offended if it gets taken down.
Well, I've been looking around for handmade soaps, but I don't know how to tell the M&P ones from the cold process ones, and a lot of the etsy stores I've popped into don't specify. Some say they use a  "handmade soap base", but I'm not sure what that means.
I'd really like something that someone made from scratch (not from a Hobby Lobby soap base) so it can be all natural with no mystery ingredients.
Is there a real difference between the cold process soaps and the M&Ps? Is there a way to tell by appearance or ingredients lists if they're available? Should I stop being so picky and just buy some darn soap?
I feel a little bad outright asking the sellers, since I don't want them to think their soap is bad just because it might not be what I want.
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Cute Strawberry and Hello Kitty on: October 17, 2006 05:58:32 PM
I've been knitting a bunch of xmas pressies lately, and I wanted a break so I dug around in my bead box to make some "serious" jewelry but I just wasn't inspired by anything so I made some fun things instead.
I just love this strawberry, it's the only one I had, and I added some Swarovski crystals and a silver chain:

I have a few more of these Hello Kitty beads, and I've made bracelets similar to this one before. Pretty simple, but cute.

I hope you like them!
10  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Cute headband, with pattern! on: September 26, 2006 03:34:57 PM
My new long bangs have been bugging me severely, so I made a couple of headbands, and I think they're pretty cute. Please let me know what you think.

That's my son modeling, isn't his hair pretty? He's refused to cut it since second grade (now in fifth), and I decided to just go with the flow. Even though everyone thinks he's a girl, everywhere we go. Sigh.

Here's the pattern, with modifications to make it narrower, as well.

Pattern added by vanillaxlight. See the website above for more pictures, how to make it narrower, and copyright information!


I used 100% wool, worsted weight and a G hook, but any yarn would work just as well.
Measure your head and subtract a few inches for ease, unless your yarn has absolutely no stretch to it. I made mine a little more than 18 inches long, not counting the ties and it fit comfortably on my 22 inch head.

Ch 3 always counts as first dc

Ch 40
2 dc in 4th chain from hook, ch 3, turn.
Inc 1 dc on each end (dc 2 in first and last stitch) and dc in each dc (5 dc), ch 3, turn.
Inc 1 dc on each end and dc in each dc (7 dc), ch 3, turn.
Inc 1 dc on each end and dc in each dc (9 dc), ch 3, turn.
Inc 1 dc on each end and dc in each dc (11 dc), ch 3, turn.
Inc 1 dc on each end and dc in each dc (13 dc), ch 3, turn. Measure the length of this section, not counting the chain tie, for later.

Begin pattern for headband:
Row 1: DC in next dc, ch1, skip 1 stitch, dc in next dc, skip 2 stitches, 5 dc in next dc, skip 2, dc in next dc, ch1, skip 1, dc in next 2 stitches, chain 1, turn.
Row 2: (chain 1 does not count as a single crochet, just do it and ignore it.) Sc in each dc and ch 1 space across,  (13 sc) chain 3, turn.

Repeat the last 2 rows until your headband is 3.5 inches less (or however long your increase section at the beginning of your headband turned out) than the desired length, not counting the chain tie. End on row 1 of pattern.

Decrease one stitch at each end (I just skipped a stitch, if you know a tidier way, please feel free), and dc in each dc across. (11 dc) ch 3, turn
Decrease one stitch at each end, and dc in each dc across. (9 dc) ch 3, turn
Decrease one stitch at each end, and dc in each dc across. (7 dc) ch 3, turn
Decrease one stitch at each end, and dc in each dc across. (5 dc) ch 3, turn
Decrease one stitch at each end, and dc in each dc across. (3 dc) ch 1, turn, sc in the ch 3 space, chain 35, fasten off.
You can tie an overhand knot at the end of the chains for extra durability.

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